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Archived Web Page - Draft for Public Consultation GD-384: Site Access Security Clearance for High-Security Sites

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Guidance document GD-384, Site Access Security Clearance for High-Security Sites, sets out the guidance of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for granting, denying or revoking a site access security clearance (SASC) for authorized unescorted entry to a protected area at a high-security site.

As per subsections 17(5) and 18.4 of the Nuclear Security Regulations, SASCs are authorized for a period of five years. However, CNSC inspectors in possession of a valid Government of Canada - Secret (Level II) security clearance are exempted from the five year validity period and are required to renew their clearances every ten years.

Requirements associated with this document are found in the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) and regulations made under it. 

This document may be used as part of the licensing basis for a regulated facility or activity. The licensing basis sets the boundary conditions for acceptable performance at a regulated facility or activity and thus establishes the basis for the CNSC's compliance program in respect of that regulated facility or activity.

The licensing basis for a regulated facility or activity is a set of requirements and documents comprising:

  • the regulatory requirements set out in the applicable laws and regulations
  • the conditions and safety and control measures described in the facility's or activity’s licence and the documents directly referenced in that licence
  • the safety and control measures described in the licence application and the documents needed to support that licence application

In this document, “shall” is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that a licensee or licence applicant is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the requirements of this regulatory document. “Should” is used to express guidance. “May” is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of this regulatory document. “Can” is used to express possibility or capability.

Other health, safety and environmental considerations may dictate adherence to additional requirements. It is the responsibility of the licensee to identify any other applicable legislation or standards.

Table of Contents

1.0 Purpose

This document provides guidance regarding the process for granting, denying, renewing or revoking a site access security clearance (SASC) for authorized unescorted entry to a protected area. The purpose of a SASC is to prevent unreasonable risk to high-security sites. This includes risks to operations, personnel, safety and national security from the insider threat.

2.0 Scope

This document sets out a comprehensive approach and process for granting, denying or revoking a SASC.

3.0 Relevant Legislation

The provisions of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), General Nuclear Safety and Control Regulations (GNSCR) and Nuclear Security Regulations (NSR) relevant to this document include:

  • Paragraph 9(a) of the NSCA, which provides that “the objects of the Commission are (a) to regulate the development, production and use of nuclear energy and the production, possession and use of nuclear substances, prescribed equipment and prescribed information in order to
    1. prevent unreasonable risk, to the environment and to the health and safety of persons, associated with that development, production, possession or use,
    2. prevent unreasonable risk to national security associated with that development, production, possession or use, and
    3. achieve conformity with measures of control and international obligations to which Canada has agreed”
  • Subsection 24(4) of the NSCA, which provides that “No licence may be issued, renewed, amended or replaced unless, in the opinion of the Commission, the applicant (a) is qualified to carry on the activity that the licence will authorize the licensee to carry on; and (b) will, in carrying on that activity, make adequate provision for the protection of the environment, the health and safety of persons and the maintenance of national security and measures required to implement international obligations to which Canada has agreed.”
  • Subsection 24(5) of the NSCA, which provides that “A licence may contain any term or condition that the Commission considers necessary for the purposes of this Act.”
  • Subsection 12(1)(c) of the GNSCR, which provides that “Every licensee shall take all reasonable precautions to protect the environment and the health and safety of persons and to maintain the security of nuclear facilities and of nuclear substances.”
  • Section 17(1) of the NSR, which provides that “No person shall enter a protected area without physical proof of the recorded authorization of the licensee.”
  • Subsection 17(1.1) of the NSR, which provides that “In this section, ‘site access security clearance’ means a clearance granted by a licensee to a person based on a security assessment for site access security clearances referred to in the Personnel Security Standard or on an equivalent security assessment.”
  • Subsection 17(1.2) of the NSR, which provides that “A site access security clearance is valid for five years.”
  • Subsection 17(2) of the NSR, which provides that “Subject to section (3), a licensee shall, before issuing an authorization to enter a protected area to a person, prepare an identification report that contains the following information and documents:
    1. the person’s name and date and place of birth;
    2. documentary proof of the person’s lawful presence in Canada;
    3. the address of the person’s principal residence;
    4. a photograph depicting a frontal view of the person’s face;
    5. the person’s occupation; and
    6. a copy of the site access security clearance for that person.”
  • Subsection 17(5) of the NSR, which provides that “An authorization to enter a protected area may be issued for any term not exceeding five years and shall be subject to any terms and conditions that are necessary to minimize the risk to the security of the area.”
  • Subsection 17(6) of the NSR, which provides that “Every licensee shall give to a person who has sought an authorization to enter a protected area, on the person’s request, a copy of any information or documents referred to in subsection (2) that the licensee possesses.”
  • Subsection 18.4 of the NSR, which provides that “An authorization may be issued for any term not exceeding five years and shall minimize the risk to the security of the facility.”
  • Section 21 of the NSR, which provides that “A licensee may revoke an authorization.”
  • Subsection 37. (1) of the NSR, which provides that “Every licensee shall:
    1. keep a record of the name of each person to whom an authorization has been issued;
    2. retain the record for one year after it expires or is revoked.”

4.0 Process for Granting, Denying or Revoking a Site Access Security Clearance

4.1 Site access security clearance assessment

Licensees should have processes in place, as part of their SASC program, to assess the levels of risk presented by applicants and renewals. Furthermore, the SASC program should clearly set out established threshold criteria to trigger these processes.

The SASC assessment process consists of two parts:

  • an assessment of reliability, which is normally conducted by the licensee
  • a security assessment of loyalty and reliability as it relates thereto, which is conducted by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) with input from the licensee

When assessing reliability, a licensee should verify a person’s character, honesty, background, qualifications and trustworthiness. The purpose of the SASC assessment is to determine if a person may access designated, classified or prescribed information or assets without posing an unreasonable risk to the nuclear site, to the personnel working there or to national security. The CSIS security assessment may include a subject interview conducted by CSIS to collect further information in order to make a determination on loyalty and/or reliability as it relates to loyalty.

The SASC process is parallel to the Government of Canada (GOC) security screening process. For more information and a comparison of the parallel processes, see table 1 in appendix D.

The licensee’s SASC program will be assessed as part of the CNSC compliance program, in order to determine if it is satisfactory or not.

4.2 Application process

The process for application should include the following:

  • the licensee obtaining written consent from the applicant to conduct the necessary investigations (licensee & CSIS)
  • the applicant providing the necessary information to apply for the appropriate level of clearance
  • the licensee conducting a briefing on the applicant’s responsibilities and certifying the clearance

4.3 Collection of information

Before granting a SASC, the licensee should carry out the following activities:

  • process the SASC application in order to determine an applicant’s five-year traceable history, by collecting and assessing the following information:
    1. personal data, including history of residence, for the five years immediately preceding the SASC application or, if the applicant is under 21 years of age, to age 16
    2. criminal records name check (CRNC) in accordance with Canadian Police Information Centre policy
    3. educational/professional qualifications
    4. employment history
    5. CSIS security assessment
  • perform the requisite checks identified in the Policy on Government Security (PGS) – Personnel Security Standard Appendix C, or an equivalent policy or standard
  • verify all required information, either personally or via a trusted third party
  • process and verify the completeness of information for a security assessment before sending it to CSIS; verification of necessary information for reliability assessments takes place in parallel with the loyalty assessment that CSIS carries out in support of a SASC application or renewal. The licensee must sign off on the reliability of the applicant prior to requesting a security assessment from CSIS.

4.4 Missing or adverse information

In cases of gaps in documentation (boxes not checked, initials missing), the licensee should inform the applicant about it and ensure the information is complete. If there are gaps in history (residence or employment), the licensee should contact the applicant to retrieve all necessary information and, if deemed necessary, meet with the applicant to clarify any concerns.

In a case of an indictable conviction, the licensee should conduct a security interview with the applicant. The criteria used to decide whether a security interview is necessary should include assessing the risk to site and national security. Failure by the applicant to declare all criminal convictions will delay the SASC process and may result in the denial of reliability screening.

4.5 Licensee decision

The decision to grant, deny or revoke a SASC rests with the licensee. The decision should be supported by a management policy that includes a risk-based decision-making process and should also take into consideration any potential or unreasonable risks to national security.

5.0 Site Access Security Clearance Application Process Steps

5.1 Consent and authorization

The SASC application should begin with the licensee obtaining the appropriate authorization to conduct personnel screening of an applicant. The applicant must give the licensee written authorization to conduct such screening. This authorization can be granted by using the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) form entitled Personnel Screening Consent and Authorization Form (TBS/SCT 330-23E: Rev. 2006/02), where all data is collected in sections A to C and signed off in sections D and E. See appendix A for the TBS forms and appendix B for the application process.

Before permitting the applicant to start completing the Personnel Screening Consent and Authorization Form, the licensee should advise the applicant that failure to include all required information, or to complete the form in an accurate or legible manner, will result in the documentation being returned, thereby delaying the screening process. The licensee should also explain to the applicant the consequences of attempting to conceal any information that could affect the degree of confidence that the licensee could place in him or her.

The licensee completes section A of the form and the applicant completes sections B and C. For section C, the applicant must initial the required boxes and the licensee must complete the appropriate boxes. The licensee then completes sections D and E.

A credit check may be required, depending on the applicant’s position, access to financial information and funds, or signing authority. A credit check may also be conducted for cause, which includes personal bankruptcy or a related criminal conviction record, such as fraud.

5.2 Screening process

Once the licensee has obtained consent to screen the applicant, and the screening process has been approved, the applicant should provide all pertinent information to apply for a SASC. This can be done by using the TBS form entitled Security Clearance Form (TBS/SCT 330-60E), where all compulsory data is collected in sections A, B, C, D, F, H, I and P. All other sections of the form are to be completed as needed (e.g., Level II, Secret). See appendix A for the TBS forms and appendix B for the application process.

In addition, the applicant should provide notarized/certified translations for all supporting documentation (e.g., educational certificate, CRNC, professional qualifications) that is not in English or French.

5.2.1 Personal data

The licensee should verify the applicant’s full name, date and place of birth. The place of birth should include the city or town name, province (state) and country.

Verified original documentation should include the following:

  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • valid work permit
  • permanent resident card
  • Canadian citizenship card or other government-issued photo identification

At least one piece of identification should contain a current facial view of the applicant.

5.2.2 Less than five years of traceable history in Canada

The licensee should have a verification process for SASC applicants who have less than five years of traceable history within Canada.

An applicant who has resided or worked in a country outside of Canada for a period of more than six months within the last five years should provide a CRNC for each country of previous residence where the individual was 16 years of age or older. An applicant who resided in a country where only local checks (e.g., immediate area where the applicant resided) are completed should have a CRNC (or equivalent) completed for each area where the person resided. The applicant should also have a CRNC completed by the country’s state government policing authorities.

Where there are no reciprocal arrangements between different policing authorities, the applicant should obtain a CRNC from each authority. For example, for an applicant residing in the United States, a CRNC and fingerprint check should be conducted at the county, state and federal level by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Crime Information Center.

Where CRNC information is unavailable or incomplete, or an indictable conviction exists, fingerprints should be verified through a police service agency (in the area of jurisdiction where the person has resided) or by a trusted third party. There are several countries that do not have a CRNC process in place. In such cases, the onus is on the licensee to verify criminal conviction information from a trusted third party.

5.2.3 Foreign nationals

A foreign national should provide identification (e.g., work visa or passport) and proof of legal status in Canada to the licensee. A foreign national should also provide, via a trusted third party, a CRNC from the person’s country of origin. A CRNC should be provided for each country where a foreign national has resided for a period of six months or more during the past five years, including all areas and all police authorities within the country where the person resided.

In cases where a foreign national indicates possession of a valid security clearance from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), licensees may set up an agreement with Public Works and Government Services Canada to obtain a NATO security clearance screening certificate for that person. Such certification – the lowest clearance level being equivalent to Level I, Confidential – along with the completed documentation required for a SASC, will be deemed to meet the necessary SASC assessment criteria when a foreign national has less than five years of traceable history in Canada.

A SASC should be granted to the individual according to the licensee’s security protocols, risk management processes and the licensee’s SASC program. Enquiries can only be conducted in countries that have bilateral/reciprocal agreements with Canadian investigative authorities.

5.2.4 Employment and education records

The licensee, or a trusted third party on behalf of the licensee, should verify the applicant’s education and/or professional qualifications (e.g., licence, degree or diploma) and record them by way of a certified copy. The licensee should initial and date the copy and retain it on file for audit purposes.

5.2.5 Criminal activity assessment

Where a CRNC check conducted by the licensee, or a trusted third party on behalf of the licensee, is incomplete, fingerprints should be taken for verification and a security interview should be performed to collect more information.

When an applicant has an indictable conviction, the licensee should review the criminal history and assess the risk to personnel safety and/or security to the nuclear facility based on this information. The risk assessment should include an assessment of criminal convictions and any information provided by police agencies that may affect the reliability of a SASC applicant or renewal, such as links to organized crime. It should also consider the nuclear facility’s operations, including what facility areas or nuclear material to which the individual may have access. A criminal conviction, including a self-declaration by the applicant, that identifies adverse information, will also require a security interview.

The licensee should have, as part of its SASC program, a process to assess risk for personnel with a criminal conviction record who are being transferred to an assignment or position that requires access to sensitive information, assets or vital areas.

5.2.6 CSIS notice of assessment

CSIS will provide the licensee with a notice of assessment (NOA), indicating that adverse information exists from the security assessment or that there is no adverse information (NOA – NO ADV INFO) concerning the applicant who requires a SASC. The SASC is valid for five years from the date of notification from CSIS, with the provision that CSIS may review the SASC for cause at any time.

There are three types of notices from CSIS: 1) NRT – no reportable traces, 2) NRT – insufficient and 3) NOA- Brief. For the first two notices, the licensee may continue the application process, following a risk-based decision making process. For the third notice, the licensee must hold the file and await more detailed information from CSIS via a formal letter copied to the CNSC.

5.3 Security interview

5.3.1 Adverse information

In the event that an application results in the discovery of adverse information, a security interview may be required. If the declaration of a criminal conviction contains circumstances related to adverse information, the licensee should conduct a security interview to adequately assess any potential risk to the site, including its operation and personnel, and to identify any threat that may have national security implications.

5.3.2 Threat and risk assessment

One of the purposes of a security interview is for the licensee to assess risk. An interview should be conducted based on adverse information, as well as for cause. For example, if an applicant had been convicted of fraud, and the licensee discovered that the person had provided false information in regard to professional qualifications, an interview should be conducted to assess risk. Interviews with the potential for elevated risk should be conducted by two interviewers. See appendix C for the risk-based decision-making process.

A SASC may be reviewed at any time for cause. The licensee’s SASC program should have established threshold criteria that will “trigger” a security interview. This could include the circumstances of the criminal offence (nature, frequency, passage of time, indictable vs. summary, etc.). Licensees must also consider any potential risk to the site or national security, given the duties and tasks to be assigned to the individual being considered for the granting of a SASC.

To determine if the applicant poses a potential threat or risk to the site, the licensee should conduct a security interview with a focus on the following:

  • the resolution of incomplete or questionable documentation
  • poor or questionable credit history
  • indictable convictions
  • past criminal activity
  • less than five consecutive years of traceable history
  • adverse or insufficient information from CSIS
  • any other adverse information that has potential risk to site or national security

5.3.3 Documentation

The applicant should bring all required documentation to the security interview. This material should include original or verified copies of all documentation related to the SASC, including:

  • proof of legal status
  • notarized or certified translation (if not in English or French) of all CRNCs
  • passport or visa
  • educational certificates, diplomas or degrees

The licensee’s security interview may require a detailed analytical examination of information provided by the applicant, or lack thereof, to verify reliability/authenticity where other means of verification are not available. The security interview may also include other verification tools, in order to establish the applicant’s reliability.

5.3.4 Interviewer qualifications

A licensee’s security interview should be conducted by an experienced interviewer with the requisite training and skills, who is a member of the licensee’s SASC program. The licensee determines the qualifications of the interviewer.

Licensees should utilize interviewers trained in forensic interviewing techniques to conduct interviews related to the assessment of a SASC applicant or renewal, or for cause. A forensic interviewing techniques course should include essential subjects such as detecting deception, conducting a structured interview and analyzing statements. For further guidance on suitable courses, licensees may contact the Nuclear Security Division of the CNSC.

5.3.5 Record-keeping

The licensee should have documented processes for evaluating the results of the interview. These documented results and the associated information should be suitably protected and kept on file.

5.3.6 Decision to grant, deny, renew or revoke

The licensee should identify a senior program authority who decides to grant, deny, renew or revoke a SASC based on the results of the licensee’s risk-based decision-making process, including reliability/loyalty checks and, if conducted, the security interview.

5.4 Granting of a site access security clearance

The licensee may grant a SASC with or without certain limitations and restrictions to access prescribed information or assets.

5.4.1 Determinative assessment – security interview

If the security interview determines the applicant does not pose a security risk, the licensee may grant a SASC without restrictions, if the CSIS assessment has not identified any adverse information. Security restrictions (e.g., limitations on hours of work or access to certain areas of the licensed facility and nuclear material) may be imposed while a SASC is in the process of being updated over an extended period. This may be done only if the licensee has not identified adverse information that could indicate an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of persons, or to site and national security.

5.4.2 Restrictions to control access

Restrictions may be imposed based on the licensee’s own governance for risk tolerance/acceptance. The licensee should take into consideration the sensitivity and vulnerability of certain critical areas, vital areas and inner areas. When granting a SASC, the licensee has the authority, under subsection 17(5) of the Nuclear Security Regulations, to implement any terms and conditions necessary to minimize the risk to the security of the protected area.

An applicant may, based on a risk assessment, obtain limited unescorted site access that is subject to certain restrictions (e.g., limited hours of work; a standalone computer not connected to the facility network and with no Internet connection; or no access to prescribed information, prescribed equipment, nuclear material or nuclear material accounting, or to classified information or assets). Restrictions should be recorded, clearly communicated, and subject to a documented review process conducted by the licensee.

5.4.3 Alternative work

If the licensee becomes aware that a SASC holder has been charged with a serious criminal offence or the licensee is made aware of significant adverse information, the SASC holder should be assigned alternative work duties until the charge is adjudicated in court or the information is assessed by the licensee. The applicant should be placed under the appropriate administrative controls and access control measures, as well as monitored through the Supervisory Awareness Program at the licensed site.

5.4.4 Denial of a site access security clearance

An applicant should not be granted a SASC if, after the security interview or other checks, a risk assessment determines that:

  • SASC requirements are not met
  • an unreasonable risk is posed to the site, including its operation and personnel
  • a threat or an unacceptable risk is posed that may have a negative impact on site and national security

No applicant, including a foreign national, should be granted a SASC if the person refuses to be interviewed, or if the licensee or CSIS identifies any adverse information that is considered a security threat or risk.

5.5 Revocation of a site access security clearance

No person, including a foreign national, should retain their SASC – or be processed for a SASC – if the person refuses to be interviewed, or if the licensee identifies any adverse information that is considered a security threat or risk. If a current SASC holder refuses to be interviewed, the SASC should be revoked.

5.6 Certification

Once the decision to grant a SASC is made, the licensee should provide a comprehensive briefing to the applicant concerning the individual’s future security responsibilities and obtain, in writing, the acknowledgement of the person for all the necessary requirements. This can be done by using the TBS form entitled Security Screening Certificate and Briefing Form (TBS/SCT 330-47), where all data is collected in sections A and B, acknowledgement is declared in section C, and sign-off is completed in section D. See appendix A for the TBS forms and appendix B for the application process.

A SASC constitutes the authority for a licensee to allow access to prescribed information or assets. A SASC alone does not confer a right of access to classified information assets or sites and does not give a successful SASC applicant (SASC holder) access to classified information or assets, including those from a third party. The applicant must seek a security clearance (Level I and above) from the GOC, for access to classified information or assets. The TBS Policy on Government Security establishes the Personnel Screening Standard to ensure that only persons whose reliability, trustworthiness and loyalty to Canada have been established are granted access to classified information, assets or sites. It is important to note that no individual is entitled, by virtue of rank or position, to have access to, knowledge of, or custody of classified information and assets. The individual must have the appropriate Personnel Security Clearance (PSC) level and an identified “need-to-know”. (Access includes the opportunity to gain knowledge of information by visual or auditory means.) Private sector organizations do not have the authority to grant any level of GOC security clearance without sponsorship of the CNSC, which provides for the necessary arrangements to be set up with CSIS and the RCMP. See table 1 in appendix D.

6.0 Reporting to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

6.1 Site access security clearance granted

SASCs should be granted to applicants who have met all the requirements of the application process. However, the licensee may decide to grant a SASC with or without restrictions despite the following circumstances:

  • the applicant has not met the basic SASC requirements, and the licensee is unable to resolve gaps subsequent to a security interview
  • CSIS provides the licensee with a notice of assessment indicating there is insufficient information (NRT-INSUF)
  • CSIS or a police agency identifies adverse information that may indicate a security risk.

In such cases, the licensee should inform the CNSC and provide justification for its decision.

If a SASC holder’s circumstances change and these may pose a risk to operations, personnel, safety and national security, the licensee should investigate. Where necessary, the SASC holder should forward a complete report of the change of circumstances through the holder’s manager to the licensee, who should forward it on to the CNSC as required. The licensee may deny this individual access to prescribed information and assets, until the situation is resolved.

Measures taken by the licensee to mitigate security concerns and risk acceptance, as identified by circumstances defined in sections 5.2.5 and 5.4.1 of this document, may be subject to CNSC review, to ensure they are in accordance with paragraph 9(a) (ii) of the NSCA and paragraph 12(1)(c) of the GNSCR.

6.2 Site access security clearance denied or revoked

Where a SASC is denied or revoked, the licensee should inform the CNSC and provide detailed information on why the SASC was denied or revoked, along with the following:

  • the level of threat or risk that the individual poses to site or national security
  • the source of the information that was used in making the decision (e.g., law enforcement or security agencies)
  • the results of any related or ongoing investigation
  • the CSIS security assessment brief.

The licensee should follow the established communication and reporting protocols with the CNSC for these types of notifications. Licensees have regulatory obligations for notifying the CNSC in writing, concerning several areas related to the security of a nuclear facility. Documents related to security interviews or risk assessments should be made available on a need-to-know basis to the appropriate CNSC staff upon request.

7.0 Site Access Security Clearance Renewal Process

The licensee should have an auditable SASC renewal process, which should include verification checks that ensure enough time is available to complete and consider all required verifications and other assessments before the SASC expires. This will ensure that all relevant assessment information is reviewed and assessed before a SASC is renewed, and that any adverse information that is discovered will be available and on record where a SASC is not renewed for valid reasons.

8.0 Transferability

A valid SASC may be transferable from one high-security site to another, provided there is a CNSC-approved SASC program in place at both sites. Any adverse information and restrictions on the applicant should be shared between licensees during the transfer of a SASC. It is the licensee’s prerogative to decide if it wishes to accept the transfer of a valid SASC holder to its licensed site.

The SASC of an individual may be transferred between licensees, provided the following criteria have been met:

  • the SASC was not terminated more than two years ago
  • the SASC is not due for updating
  • the individual has confirmed in writing that there have been no changes in his or her personal history regarding criminal convictions

9.0 Record Retention

The licensee should maintain a current listing of all persons who have been granted or denied a SASC or who were subject to the revocation of their SASC for tracking, updating and auditing purposes. Because of their sensitivity, verified copies of all SASC documentation (dated and signed) containing personal information should be retained in an organization’s security file and safeguarded appropriately. Verified copies of all SASC documentation should be subject to the licensee’s governance regarding the protection, retention and destruction of documents.

10.0 Termination of Employment

Licensees should establish a procedure for dealing with the termination of employment of individuals who possessed a SASC and are no longer employed onsite. The procedure should include a formal debriefing, to remind individuals of their continuing responsibilities relating to the protection of prescribed information to which they had access in the course of their employment. If the termination is a result of a SASC review, the licensee must abide by section 6.2 of this guide.

11.0 Appeal Process

The licensee should have an appeal process whereby an applicant who was denied or revoked a SASC can request a review of the application in order to clarify items of concern or provide new information. An appeal process should include the capacity to:

  • organize and utilize a body of individuals that would oversee and conduct the process
  • implement and respect consistent timelines for the conduct of the process
  • allow for the request and verification of information by the licensee and submission of additional information by the applicant
  • make information available to the applicant that describes the appeal process, including how submitted information is reviewed
  • have a process for decision making regarding the appeal process, including how the applicant is advised of the appeal process decision and any subsequent actions and implications for the applicant or former SASC holder

Appendix A

The following forms, as amended from time to time, may be used for a SASC application, and can be downloaded from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Web site at

  • Personnel Screening, Consent and Authorization Form (TBS/SCT 330-23E)
  • Security Clearance Form (TBS/SCT 330-60E)
  • Security Screening Certificate and Briefing Form (TBS/SCT 330-47)

Licensees may use their own forms for the SASC application process in order to distinguish their internal SASC form from the GOC forms listed above, provided the SASC forms meet all applicable regulations.

Appendix B

Site Access Security Clearance – Application Process


Larger version

Appendix C

Site Access Security Clearance Risk-Based Decision-Making Process


Larger version

Appendix D

Table 1 - Designation of Information and Assets

Nuclear Safety and Control Act,

Nuclear Security Regulations and General Nuclear Safety and Control Regulations

Treasury Board Secretariat

Personnel Security Standard

Sensitivity level



Compromise would affect the security of the high-security site, its operations or its personnel.

Compromise would affect an interest other than the national interest or the national security of Canada

Compromise would affect the national interest or the national security of Canada

Required markings

Prescribed Information

Protected “A”


Level I, Confidential


Protected “B”

(serious injury)

Level II, Secret

(serious injury)

Protected “C”

(extremely grave injury)

Level III, Top Secret

(exceptionally grave injury)

Table 2 - Access authorized through the Site Access Security Clearance (SASC) or the

Government of Canada (GOC) Security Screening Clearance (Level I, II, III)

Security classification

SASC only

SASC + security clearance

(equivalent to GOC Level II

- Secret)

SASC + security clearance

(equivalent to GOC Level III

- Top Secret)

Employees, contractors, visitors:

1) High-security sites in Canada

2) Protected areas (PA) on site

3) Vital areas in PA as required

Employees, nuclear security officers (NSOs), physical protection support staff, intelligence analysts:

SASC + “need to know”

4) Security monitoring room (NSO)

5) Security equipment (technician)

6) Secret level reporting (intelligence)

Employees, nuclear security officers, security systems technicians, intelligence analysts:

SASC + “need to know”

7) Inner Areas in PA
NB: Incl. a two-person rule.


adverse information
Information about a SASC applicant or holder – whether collected by the licensee, outside agencies or a trusted agent – that is questionable in nature, unclear, or does not match the information provided by the applicant.
The information collected may indicate:
  • a gap in history
  • a poor credit rating
  • a criminal conviction
  • links to a criminal element
  • concerns related to the reliability or trustworthiness of a SASC applicant or holder
Any person applying for a SASC to a high-security site in Canada.  NB: CNSC staff who are not inspectors and/or do not hold a "Level II, Secret" GOC clearance will apply for a CNSC SASC to work at the licensed facility.
criminal records name check (CRNC)
A search used to determine if a person has a criminal record. The search can be based on name and date of birth or – for much greater assurance – on fingerprints, for positive identification.
for cause

    1. A threshold for action (interview, further checks, denial, revocation, suspension).

    2. In the context of a security assessment, a determination that more in-depth verifications are required due to gaps in information or information that could not be verified.

    3. A determination by the licensee that sufficient evidence exists regarding an unreasonable security risk to the licensed site, including its operation and personnel, or a threat with national security implications.

foreign national
A person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
high-security site
A nuclear power plant or a nuclear facility where Category I or II nuclear material (as defined in the Nuclear Security Regulations) is processed, used or stored.
indictable conviction
A category of conviction under the Canadian Criminal Code reserved for more serious offences such as murder, acts of terrorism, robbery, drug trafficking, treason and certain types of sexual assaults.
insider threat
An individual with authorized access to a nuclear facility or transport, who might attempt unauthorized removal or sabotage, or who could aid outsiders to do so.
A qualified person, representing the licensee, who conducts investigations and/or security interviews in order to gather information from a SASC applicant or holder, for the purposes of granting, renewing, denying or revoking a SASC.
NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization
An intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty signed on April 4, 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO currently consists of 28 independent member countries, namely: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.
Notice of assessment (NOA) – INSUFFICIENT INFO
A Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) notice of assessment indicating that there is insufficient information for CSIS to provide a meaningful assessment on the applicant’s loyalty to Canada, usually due to lack of traceable history or residency.
A CSIS notice of assessment indicating that there is no adverse information regarding an applicant’s loyalty to Canada.
protected area
An area surrounded by a barrier that meets the requirements of section 9 of the Nuclear Security Regulations.
security interview
An interview conducted by a qualified investigator representing the licensee, where information is collected to confirm or deny adverse information.
trusted third party

    1. For CRNC: A private organization or agency that is in partnership with the Canadian Police Information Centre (or equivalent) for the purposes of conducting name-based criminal record verifications.

    2. For references: A private organization or agency contracted by the licensee for the purposes of conducting reference verifications.


  1. Policy on Government Security, 2009. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
  2. IAEA Nuclear Security Series No. 8, Implementing Guide, Preventive and Protective Measures against Insider Threats , Vienna, 2008.
  3. The International Training Course (ITC 22 - 2010), Physical Protection of Nuclear Facilities and Materials, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
  4. Industrial Security Manual, 2012. The Public Works Government Services Canada – Industrial Security Program. http://ssi-iss.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/msi-ism/msi-ism-eng.html

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